By: Yasmine Fouda
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received last Sunday Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti. Sisi welcomed Michetti whose visit to Egypt coincides with the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Egypt and Argentina. Michetti welcomed the economic and trade cooperation with Egypt in various fields, while commending Egypt's economic reform plan. She also noted that her country had a similar experience in achieving progress in comprehensive development over the past years. The President welcomed the Argentine Parliament’s ratification of the free trade agreement between Egypt and the Mercosur block in May; which will push forward trade exchange movement between Egypt and the block countries topped by Argentina – Argentina is part of a free trade agreement between Egypt and Mercosur, a Latin American sub-regional common market including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay . President Sisi stressed the importance of activating the economic and commercial committee between the two countries so as to discuss boosting bilateral economic cooperation. Egypt’s president further reviewed with Argentine Vice President the national projects currently being implemented and the steps taken by the government to provide an attractive atmosphere to investors. The President pointed to the economic reform measures where the Egyptian people bear their consequences with courage. The President pointed further to the positive outcome of the meeting held with the Argentine president in September 2016 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China, and the two sides agreed on the importance of boosting bilateral ties at all levels. President Sisi expressed Egypt’s keenness on bolstering joint cooperation in various fields. On the other hand, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Mitchiti agreed in their meeting to exchange visits of technical delegations in order to implement joint projects in the various development fields, as well as projects of joint interest. He also shed light on Egypt’s exerted efforts to achieve sustainable development, and maximise investment opportunities in the country, underlining the recently approved Investment Law. The two sides examined the many similarities in the economic challenges that the two countries are currently facing, which undoubtedly provide areas for joint cooperation. Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs extended Egypt’s thanks to Argentine for giving the opportunity to Moushira Khattab, Egypt and Africa candidate for the post of UNESCO Director, and visualizing her vision pertaining to development and enhancing UNESCO operations. In September 2016, Egypt president Sisi met with his Argentinean counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China, and in the same year, according to Egypt today, trade volume between Egypt and Mercosur reached $5.3 billion, of which Egyptian imports amounted to $110 million, and exports to $4.3 billion. In 2000, the trade exchange between Egypt and Argentina according to All Africa totaled $364.2 million. It is worth noting that, the first Argentine Head of State to make an official visit to Egypt was Carlos Menem, who travelled to Egypt in 1988; according to Wikipedia where he observed the opening of the Egyptian atomic reactor, which had been constructed with Argentine assistance. In 1999, Minister of Interior for Argentina Carlos Corach travelled to Cairo, for discussions on co-operation between the two countries in dealing with terrorism and organised crime. This was followed by an Argentine delegation led by Jorge Gonzalez, the deputy minister of economy of Argentina, who visited Cairo to discuss agreements on the use of harbors.